Published April 27, 2009
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Former U.S. ambassador to the Vatican Mary Ann Glendon won't accept the school's Laetare Medal at commencement next month because of its decision to have President Barack Obama speak to graduates.
Glendon also says in a letter to Notre Dame's president that giving Obama an honorary degree violates the U.S. bishops' 2004 statement that Roman Catholic institutions shouldn't honor people whose actions conflict with the church's moral principles.
Glendon says she's concerned Notre Dame's example could have a ripple effect.
Dozens of bishops have criticized the Obama invitation because of his support for abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research.
The Laetare Medal is considered the most prestigious honor for American Catholics.